In 2007 we buried the ashes of my son’s father at a beautiful old cemetary in Amsterdam. On All Souls’ Day, we visited the cemetary at night as part of the remembrance celebration. There was a beautiful ritual where people could write their departed loved ones a note and drop it in a mailbox, a winged mailbox that would deliver the messages. It was not a very impressive contraption, if I remember correctly, but such a beautiful thought! My then nine year old son wrote his dad a sweet note telling him he missed him and hoped he was happy up there with Daddy in the Sky, and then took a picture of the mailbox to remember it by.
This picture was taken with my iPhone since I’d forgotten my camera, something which happens all too often. It was pitch dark with a few candles and some fairy lights in the flowers and wings. I didn’t expect the photo to look like much. Until I had the courage to look at it a few months later. Ever since, I have been trying to find the words that would express my wonder.
I guess we did get an answer to my son’s note: When you believe you can spread your wings and fly, the wings will be there when you jump from the cliff and embark on the scariest and most exhilarating journey of all. To discover who you are.
It took me several years to understand this message. And now I am learning how to fly.
I hope… I pray that I will be able to teach my children that learning how to fly is the most important thing of all.